VCR Lesson 3

Yasmeen Asmar

Guess the Word

Darwin's visit to the Galapagos ____________ led to his development of the theory of natural selection after he realized that the birds he observed there were all of the same species but had evolved differently due to the varying environments of each island.
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archipelago (noun)

from the Greek archi- 'cheif' (given in the book as arkhein or arkhos, meaning to begin, first in rank, and ruler) and pelagos- 'sea'.

1. a group of many islands or the sea containing them

2. a group of separate entities contained within a defined area

Historically, Archipelago was a proper noun referring specifically to the Aegean Sea, which has well over a thousand islands. It later came to refer to any island chains, but the origins of the word are reflected in its Greek routes.

Examples of Archipelagos


There are no direct synonyms for archipelago except its definition, island chain. A specific kind of archipelago, however, is an atoll: a chain of islands formed by coral.


Things that are not considered to be related to an archipelago may be referred to as continental, particularly as concerns Europe and the UK, or mainland in the case of Pacific islands and the Americas. The Hawaiian and Chamorro word for white mainlanders is haole.


Choose the sentence in which the word is used incorrectly.

1. Beginning in Jamaica and ending in Grenada, she went island hopping through the West Indian archipelago.

2. The Bay Bridge passes over the archipelago Yerba Buena Island.

3. Though once a unified area, the Middle East is now an archipelago of separate nations.

4. The Hellenistic period begins with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the annexation of the Archipelago by the Roman Empire.

The answer is...

Number 2. One island cannot be referred to as an archipelago, which is by definition a chain or cluster of islands.